The New Mexico whiptail (Cnemidophorus neomexicanus) is a species of lizard found in the southern United States in New Mexico and Arizona, and in northern Mexico in Chihuahua. It is the official state reptile of New Mexico. It is one of many lizard species known to be parthenogenic.
The scales on the body are small and granular. The scales on the tail are larger, keeled, and rectangular. The scales on the belly are large, smooth, and rectangular. The scales on top of the head are large, smooth, and plate-like.
It actively forages by rooting around in organic matter under bushes and digging in the soil around the bases of rocks, and other surface debris. Prey consists of termites, beetles, moths, grasshoppers, ants, and a variety of other insects and insect larvae.
Follicular enlargement begins by late April, and most eggs are laid in June in northern New Mexico. Eggs are smooth, leathery-shelled, and creamy white in color, and are about twice as long as wide.
Body temperatures during hibernation may drop to 10 C. Lizards emerge from hibernation in April, with adults remaining active through mid-August, and hatching until early October. New Mexico specimens have been collected between 21 March and 18 October.
A whiptail lizard is a small reptile with a slender body and a long, thin tail about three times its body length. Its overall color ranges from dark brown to black, with seven pale yellow stripes from head to tail separated by rows of tiny yellow dots. Its belly is white or pale blue.
New Mexico whiptail lizards are found primarily in New Mexico’s Rio Grande Valley. They are extremely active, constantly moving, and often running upright on their hind legs. Their speed and alertness enable them to outwit predators including Gila monsters, thrashers, roadrunners, and snakes.
They are good climbers. They dig and forage for meals of insects, spiders and sometimes scorpions. In turn, birds and snakes find them tasty.
That is, their eggs hatch without fertilization and their offspring are genetic replicas of the mother. On occasion, they have mated with other species of lizards, resulting in color pattern variations.
They are found in a wide variety of semi-arid habitats, including grassland, rocky areas, shrubland, or mountainside woodlands. Reproduction occurs through parthenogenesis, with up to four unfertilized eggs being laid in mid summer, and hatching approximately eight weeks later.
The New Mexico Whiptail (Cnemidophorus neomexicanus) is a species of lizard found in the southern United States in New Mexico and Arizona, and in northern Mexico in Chihuahua. It is one of many lizards known to be parthogenic.